- Touring the Windows Phone Store
- Getting apps from Windows Phone Store
- Deleting or reinstalling apps
- Downloading apps and games FAQ
- How do I install apps from an SD card?
- Games on your Windows Phone
- Where's the App list?
- Solutions to Store issues
- What suggestions will I see on my Windows Phone 8?
- Getting suggestions in the Store FAQ
- How can I tell if an app has requirements?
- Which apps can I use to sync with my computer?
- Tips for using the Windows Phone app
- Setting up My Family for Windows Phone
- My Family FAQ
- Setting up the Facebook app
- Setting up a Twitter or LinkedIn account
- Using Speech on your phone
- Meet Cortana
- Getting started with Cortana
- What can I say to Cortana?
- Cortana's Notebook
- Cortana's settings
- Favourite places and Cortana
- Finding music with Cortana
- Your inner circle and Cortana
- Quiet hours and Cortana
- Your interests and Cortana
- Remind me, Cortana
- Using Internet Explorer
- Changing privacy and other browser settings
- Office Hub
- Synchronising documents using your computer
- Synchronising documents with OneDrive
- Using OneNote Mobile
- Wallet FAQ
- Scanning codes and text
- Using maps
- Getting directions
- Location awareness and your phone
Using Speech on your phone
Did you know your Windows Phone is a good listener? With Speech, you can make a call, send a text message, take a note, open an app, find something online and more, using only your voice.
- This topic is about Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, you can access Speech by pressing and holding the Start button on your phone. In addition, some options and icons may look a little different, and some features may not be available. Check to see which software version you have and find out if an update is available.
- On Windows Phone 8.1, you can use Speech if Cortana isn't available or is turned off.
To use Speech
Press and hold the Search button on your phone to start Speech. You can say "Help" at any time while Speech is active to display some examples of how to use it.
When you first start Speech, we ask if you want to enable the speech recognition service. If you accept, the words you speak and supporting data, including recent contact names, will be sent to Microsoft to provide and improve the service. You can turn it off at any time by going to Settings > Speech and unticking the Enable Speech Recognition Service checkbox. For more info about speech recognition, see the Windows Phone 8.1 Privacy Statement
Here are some of the things you can do with your voice:
To Say this
Call a contact
"Call contact name"
(where contact name is the name of someone in your contact list)
Example: "Call Lisa Miller"
If the person has only one phone number in your contact card and you've contacted them recently, the call will start. If there are multiple phone numbers for the contact, you'll see an option to choose which number you want to call.
Call any phone number
"Call phone number"
(where phone number is any phone number, whether it's assigned to a contact or not)
Example: "Call 07700 987654"
Redial the last number
Send a text message
"Text contact name"
(where contact name is the name of someone in your contact list)
Example: "Text Lisa Miller")
This will start a text message to that person, then you can say your message. When you've finished speaking, you can say "Send" to send it, "Add more" to add more info to your message, "Try again" to say your message again or "Cancel" to discard the message.
Take a note
"Note what you want to note"
(where what you want to note is the text you want to include in your note)
Example: "Note Pick up bread on the way home"
Your note will be saved and opened in OneNote. Then you can view and edit the text in your note, or tap the Audio note to play it.
Call your voicemail
Open an app
"Open app" or "Start app"
(where app is the name of any app on your phone, such as "Calendar", "Maps" or "Music", or apps you have downloaded from the Store)
Example: "Open Calendar"
Search the web
"Find search term" or "Search for search term"
(where search term is what you're looking for)
Example: "Find pizza"
Bing will show you search results based on what you said, such as a map with nearby pizza places.
- To use Speech while the phone is locked, go to Settings > Speech and tick the Allow speech above lock checkbox (called Use Speech when the phone is locked in Windows Phone 8).
- If you want to cancel a Speech command, press the Back button on your phone or say "Cancel" on any listening screen.
- Some apps support voice commands. To see if you have any apps on your phone that do, press and hold the Search button to start Speech, say "Help", and you will see a list of supported apps below the default voice commands.
In Windows Phone 8, some voice commands, such as texting a contact or searching the web, won't work unless the speech recognition service is enabled. To turn it on, go to Settings > Speech, then select the Enable Speech Recognition Service checkbox.
When you've finished speaking, tap Go, or just wait a couple of seconds.
To dictate an email message
When you're in email view, you can dictate an email message instead of typing it.
In the App list, tap the name of your email account.
Tap New , then enter a recipient name in the To line.
Tap Subject, tap Speak , then say the subject.
Tap in the body of the message, tap Speak , then say what you want to include in the message.
Tap Send .
Use Speech while in a call
You can also turn on Speech while in a call to use certain voice commands.
Press and hold the Search button on your phone to start Speech, then say one of the following:
- "Press number" (where number is a number from 0 to 9) to press a number on the numeric keypad in order to use voicemail or an interactive voice response menu system.
- "Call name" (where name is the name of someone in your contact list) to put the current call on hold, then call someone else.
Using your voice to make a phone call also works through a Bluetooth headset.
Other Speech commands you can turn on
In your phone's settings, you can turn on additional Speech commands and functions, including announcing caller ID for incoming calls and texts. You can even tell your phone to read a text message you receive, then dictate and send a reply.
To turn on Speech for accessibility, tap Settings > Ease of access, then turn on Speech for phone accessibility . This enables the following:
- Announcing caller ID for phone calls. When you get a call, your phone will announce the name or number of the caller.
- Speed dialling. To assign a speed dial number, press and hold Search and say "Save speed dial", then follow the instructions. After you've assigned some speed dial numbers, you can use the "Call speed dial" voice command to call them. Say "Call speed dial number" (where number is the assigned speed dial number).
- Turning call forwarding on or off using Speech. Say "Turn call forwarding on" or "Turn call forwarding off".
To have your phone announce and read incoming text messages, tap Settings > Speech, then choose when you want to hear announcements from the Read aloud incoming text messages drop-down – never, always or only when using a Bluetooth and/or a wired headset.
When your phone announces an incoming text, you can say "Read it" or "Ignore". Then you can dictate and send a reply.
Speech may not be available in your country or region.